F-16 Fighting Falcon News

First six ex-RNLAF F-16 MLUs leave for Chile

September 4, 2006 (by Stefaan Vanhastel) - On Monday, September 4th, six former RNlAF F-16 MLU aircraft took off from Twenthe AB in the Netherlands, on their delivery flight to Chile. The aircraft are part of a batch of 18 MLU aircraft sold to Chile by the Netherlands.

The ex-RNLAF F-16 MLU aircraft will supplement 10 Peace Puma Block 50 aircraft (photo) in the FACh inventory

The aircraft will be routed through Gando Air Base on the Canary Islands and Brazil before arriving in Chile on September 8th, supported by a KC-10. The first delivery flight includes 6 aircraft in FACh color scheme (2 air spares also took off but will return to Twenthe if there are no problems later in the week).

Only the first 6 aircraft will wear the FACh color scheme on delivery for Public Relations reasons, the remaining 12 aircraft will wear their RNlAF color scheme for the delivery flight.

President Michelle Bachelet will receive the aircraft at their new base in Antofagasta, B.A. Cerro Moreno, where they will join Grupo de Aviacion No 8.

The 18 F-16s were acquired last year at a cost of $185 million, and although they were constructed in the middle of the eighties, they were updated to the MLU standard, which will allow them to operate alongside the new F-16 C/D block 50's using similar armaments.

Serials & Callsigns
  • J-657 F-16BM FACh NAF81
  • J-141 F-16AM FACh NAF82
  • J-885 F-16BM FACh NAF83
  • J-656 F-16BM FACh NAF84
  • J-652 F-16BM FACh NAF85 (*Spare)
  • J-194 F-16AM FACh NAF86
  • J-139 F-16AM FACh NAF87 (*Spare)
  • J-633 F-16AM FACh NAF88